Sunday, September 17, 2017

Grace

Middle school has been such a struggle for Larissa. For two weekends in a row we have had a friend of hers over to our house. She didn't want to leave! The girls got along great. Her mom was excited because her daughter didn't have any friends.

Then came along the group of girls who flat out let it be known that they didn't like Larissa because of her skin color. They offered friendship to Larissa's friend. She had to chose between Larissa or a group of friends. She chose the number of friends over the substance of a real friend. They proceeded to use her to further hurt Larissa. She came home from school every day in tears. Told me that she was crying in class and was told to ignore them. Small things like chips knocked out of her hand, little put downs, little bumps, one day was really bad, non-stop.

Last weekend we decided to work on grace, to really practice grace. We talked a lot about her ex-friend and how she wanted friends so bad that she gave up a good friend just to have a lot of friends. We talked about friendship and we concentrated on the friends that she does have.

She went back to school Monday and wanted to wear grace.




I have to say it was interesting. She said that a lot of people didn't know what it meant. She explained grace to a lot of kids. One girl came up to her and asked her if she was gay. Larissa explained what God's grace is. It is sad when the kids are more versed in gay, homosexuality and trangender issues than what God's grace is.

On Tuesday the group of girls stopped picking on Larissa and moved on to someone else. However, they left her ex-friend behind now that they didn't need her to hurt Larissa. She went to Larissa and asked if she could spend the night at our house again. Larissa told her no, that she forgives her but really doesn't want t friend who is willing to turn on her in such a manner. Willing to be a friend in private but in public putting her down for her skin color.

Then came Thursday. picture day. Larissa came home from school and said that she didn't get to get her picture taken. I found that odd, I have never had that happen to any of my kids so I emailed her main teacher and asked her why. I was very polite because I really didn't know what happened.

Friday morning after I dropped the kids off I noticed that her teacher had responded. Her main teacher is her special education teacher. She said that it was Larissa's fault. That a lot of kids in her class think that she is their homeroom teacher and she isn't and that they called by homeroom teacher names. I was king of surprised because I also thought that she was her homeroom teacher so I asked her who was Larissa's homeroom teacher and where was Larissa when she was called. She responded by telling me that Larissa was in her class when her homeroom teacher was called and that she can get a picture done on make-up day. She never told me who the homeroom teacher was. Hmmm, ok. that email came at 8:30 and I didn't respond after that because I now understood why Larissa didn't get her picture taken. Larissa wasn't the only one in her class who didn't get their picture taken. I considered the subject over and figured that we would now wait for make-up day.

Then at 12:30 I got a call from the school that Larissa was sick. I went to get her and I could tell by the look on her face that she wasn't just sick. She gets to the car and starts crying. She said that her teacher talked bad about the entire time she was in class. That she kept going back to her computer to see if I was still "bickering" with her. She went to go talk to teachers in the hallway about me, that everyone in her class thinks that I am mean. Worse to me is she asked all the older kids if they got their picture taken and pointed Larissa out that she didn't and how I was bickering with her over it. This caused all the other kids to look at her and make some comments. 

I was furious, after we finally got past the bullies, the teacher becomes one. Larissa did not know that I had emailed her. I did all the emailing after I had dropped the kids off. However, she knew what was going on. I was also shocked. I reread my emails and in no way did I ever attack her. I didn't even blame her because she hadn't made sure that all her students understood who their homeroom teacher was and didn't bother to send them out when they were in her class. I emailed her teacher and told her that I picked up a crying Larissa because of things that she had said in her class. She responded that she didn't say anything. I also talked to the principal for a few moments. She thought I was upset aboutt he pictures and I told her no, it was comments that were said about me and our emails in class. She is going to talk with the teacher on Monday. I honestly believe that it will come down to the teacher and Larissa's word. I believe Larissa, she had too much knowledge about the emails. I imagine that the school will side with the teacher. Larissa has asked to be homeschooled. Her teacher is the only special ed teacher for what Larissa needs.

Life is never simple around here.

Grace according to Larissa



Saturday, September 9, 2017

Weather

the weather is crazy at this time. My brother and father live in Houston. I haven't heard from my father since we went to Texas to visit him. I did communicate with my brother and although his yard flooded he didn't have any damage to his home. I was concerned about my father in Spring because I saw a lot of flooding around the area. My brother was able to drive there to find that his house was not damaged either. I have tried contacting my father but have not been able to do so. So many people have been hurt by that hurricane.

It isn't just hurricanes, there are fires burning, many earthquakes in Idaho, earthquake in Mexico and now a hurricane heading for Florida. Our area was expecting to get hit but the cone has moved west. We still expect some effect from it, we will see.  The last week has made us think about our options. My mom is bedridden. She can't even sit comfortably in a wheelchair. We also have three foster children as well as the rest of our children. We determined that if we had to take my mom out we would use a blanket to put her on the floor of the van. We have removed the seat behind the drivers seat and with padding she could go there. It would take several of us lifting her to get her there. Then for her we would need to pack her medications, diapers and such. Thankfully we don't need to evacuate but this has given us time to think about our preparedness. We have some things we need to do for the future.

As I watch the coverage of this hurricane I am saddened by the damage. I am praying for everyone in Florida as well as everyone else impacted by all these weather conditions. Hurricane Irma is starting to head north, I hope that everyone in her path is in a save place. Our country has a lot of rebuilding to do. It is so overwhelming.

Friday, September 8, 2017

House Projects

My never ending battle with house projects. I am slowly stripping popcorn ceilings from my house. I say slowly because so far all I have done is a small bathroom upstairs. Stripping it was very easy so I decided to tackle the kitchen. 

I didn't realize that the previous owner of our house had painted the popcorn ceiling. Someone told me that it made it easier. I don't agree. It is harder to get it started and then I have to spray a gain to get to the popcorn under the paint. It does come off in sheets on the top so perhaps there is less mess. It is hard ot tell because it is messy regardless of if it was painted or not.



Right now I am working on the little nook in my little kitchen. I actually put in a ceiling fan in that area. My kitchen get so hot when we cook. A ceiling fan may not be popular in the kitchen but I really don't care. My utility bills are over $700/month in the summer so anything that will keep it cooler is good for me. I didn't take a picture, it was the smallest white fan that Lowe's carries. I imagine at some point it will show up in a picture.

Anthony looked at the bare ceiling and looked at me and said, "I know you aren't painting the ceiling white!" Haha, he is right. I am not sure yet what I want but it will come to me. There is still a lot of ceiling to strip.


I bought this little organizer online and am attempting to get some order into my life. We have a dedicated coffee area to make life just a little easier. Many Sunday mornings we are scrambling to find coffee cups and the lids to go with them. It is small but it is a start.


My kitchen is small for our family size. All my pots are such are huge. What organizational tips do you have for the kitchen? I am working my way around the kitchen trying to purge and organize. It is a challenge to get anything done with all the kids in the house!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

3k

My baby started 3k. This is the first time I seemed out a program for one of my children for 3k. Either they needed early interventions and went through the school system or they stayed home. I have never been in a big hurry to send them off. However, Benjamin has been asking to go. He is going to a program at a highly recommended local church, I put him on the list last year.



His first day was great.


I convinced him to paint his toes instead of his fingers. He loved nail polish, any other little boys out there request painted nails? Honestly I think it bothers my husband at a certain level he lets him have it. My husband has had painted nails when the girls have done them in his sleep!


Foster Update

I have been having posts that are pretty much pictures, yes, an easy way to show what we are up to but not much information. How is it going? (mixed bag)  How many times have I thought about having the girls moved? (Many) What is going on? Are you still sane?

Itty bitty is growing and attaching. He is at the 50% for weight and totally on target in all ways. I found out that the aunt will not work out. No ICPC. There is family in our state but the parents don't want him to go to them, they have that option at this time. The parents have moved back to their state and will work their case from there. Hmmmm, a new one for me. I did give them my cell number and when they text me I send them pictures and updates. Will that motivate them? So right now his case is, umm, complicated. The sad thing is IF the parents don't work their case and they get TPR then the local family can step forward and he would get moved to them. He won't know who they are but they are family. His worker has changed, not really sure who she is at this time. I rarely hear from his county which is fine, he is a sweet baby and we enjoy him.

The girls.....whew. We are tired. I took them in for evaluations and they are going to a therapist weekly. Honestly, I am not sure that what they get there is worth the time and effort that it takes to take them in. My husband and I take turns on getting totally frustrated so they are still here. Last week I finally got their birth certificates so I was able to put in the paperwork for little miss to get her into 4K. I was told that it will take about 2 weeks to process her paperwork. We are taking it day by day and dealing with priority issues.

Right now we are working on personal space. Whenever the girls meet someone or someone comes to the door, the girls will get right in their space. They will hug them, put their hands all over them and talk to them REAL close. It makes everyone uncomfortable. We have talked the stranger talk, talked about personal space, corrected them on each occurrence. So far we have seen no change in this behavior. I am totally open for suggestions!

The girls finally had a visits with their parents, they have only had one since coming into our home. They have to be transported 2 hours away so it is an all day event.  During their visit I received a text from their social worker telling me that the girls claimed that they had lice and we weren't willing to treat it. Huh? Yes they had lice and we treated it twice. Then I asked if they had any left and needed treated again. Uh, I guess not since she didn't text me back. I found the whole thing rather odd. Later she asked me why I hadn't told her about the lice. Well......I had sent her many texts about many more pressing things and she never responded. When she never responded to my texts I stop sending them after a while. Actually there was one point where I was totally frustrated and wrote a long book. Her response was asking me if we were giving a 10 day notice for moving them. Ugh, this is the same county that Emma and Michelle came from and we were their 7th placement. Now I see that instead of giving support they simply move the kids. That really didn't help Emma and Michelle one bit.

So we persevere. I get relief by painting late at night and tiny bit by tiny bit the girls are learning. The tantrums have diminished a lot as they have learned that they just don't work. Slowly they are learning that we mean what we say. I had a big turning point when I realized that I hadn't prayed for these girls or for us. The day after I prayed little miss came up to me and hugged me and called me mom. Just Friday older sis came running in the house after school hollering mom, mom. I came up to her and said what. She was so excited, she got to get something from the treasure box at school. It seemed like such a "normal" moment. She was so proud and I was proud for her.

Bit by bit, pray for us!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Last Weekend continued

We adults had some fun too, we had a rock painting party. 

I showed them how I paint my owls and then we had fun painting.
















It was a good weekend, it was an exhausting weekend.


If you aren't doing the rock painting you should give it a try. It is a great way to destress.


Last Weekend

Well, got a tad behind on posting. 

Last weekend was great. We got a new toy for the pool and all the kids loved it.



We gave the kids the water camera and the following are their pictures.










Right after this swimming session the weather got cooler. I expect we will get another heat wave but our swimming opportunities are drawing to a close.



Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Eclipse

We were in the path of the total eclipse. We ordered our glasses long ago and enjoyed watching it from home.

 I even painted a few rocks and placed them in the community to commemorate the occasion.



My phone tood strange pictures. The sun looks full but the reflection shows what state the eclipse was in.




The shadows got interesting and slowly it got darker. At one point our street lights came on.





I took just a few minutes to go from a strange light to pretty dark. Shortly after this picture the eclipse went total and we were able to look at it for a brief period of time.


Very quickly it went to a bright day again.


I did one more painting and went to the grocery store because we were critically low on milk.


I must say that it was a really neat event. It really showed the power of the sun. My kids didn't understand why how the moon could cover the sun since the moon is smaller. We did a few pictures to show them the perspective.



Curious, who was in the path and who wasn't? If you weren't in the path in the United States, what did you see?

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Little Ones Water Time

Since I have once again found my water camera I took it in the pool with the little ones.

Benjamin is swimming real well now. However, I do stay in the deep end when he goes to the deep end in case he has a problem.




They both LOVE the slide.



Tasha tried showing the kids how to dive but we pretty much got belly flops.



His freckles have really come in this hear. His red hair is coming back too.


Vaida worked a little more on putting her face in the water. Next summer I expect she will start to swim as well. She tries to keep up with Benjamin.


When Benjamin got tired he went and got his life vest by himself.


Next weekend I hope the weather is good and I can get all the kids into the pool.  It feels like summer is starting to come to an end, I am not quite ready.